Monday, November 17, 2008

'Dexter': Told You So

'Dexter' is back for Season 3By LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Can I just say I told you so?

And Harry told you so?

I'm not even going to go into the ridiculous let - me - show - you - how - to - be - a - serial - killer nonsense that transpired between Dexter and Miguel Prado this week.

Just look at the previews for NEXT week.

I knew this BFF thing wasn't going to end well. Clearly, Miguel cannot be trusted nor is he ever going to keep to any code. All I can say is I think - I think - my dream of Dex offing Prado may come true.

But perhaps worse than all of this is the fact that I just don't care anymore.

As in, this has been the most predictable, clichéd build up of a storyline that I'm so over and past how it's going to end. And because I'm so far ahead of where the show is at the moment (and I have NOT seen any advanced screeners), not to mention I've just never seen Jimmy Smits look like such a goofball in a character (as in, he's just so eager, so needy, so trying to convince us that he's just like Dex) ... well, unless somebody on the Dexter writing staff pulls a serious rabbit out of this hat, thanks, Jimmy, it's been fun.

Actually, not really.

It is worth reiterating that I do love Jimmy Smits, which is why I can't believe how annoyed I am with him on this show (though, technically speaking, it isn't his fault; he's only as good as the material he's given). That said, I absolutely despise the Prado character, which, in and of itself, isn't a crime. We don't have to like the characters that we watch. But, in this viewer's rather humble opinion, they have to be believable in the overall scheme of things, they have to resonate, they shouldn't be shoved down our throats, and they should not look like some sort of stunt casting in an attempt to make up for a below-average plot line (which this whole Dex - BFF - family - man - make - my - own - code - thing is). Agent Lundy (played by the lovely Keith Carradine) was better in one episode of Season 2 than Smits has been in the entire third season. Lundy was never introduced to just suddenly buddy up to Deb and make her forget the Ice Truck Killer saga. The reveal was methodical, believable, and hardly predictable. And, even though I really did NOT like Lila nor did I ever care much for Sergeant Doakes, those two characters provided tangible conflict in scenarios that didn't seem to come from left field nor make Dexter look like a fool and/or some distant relative of himself. Nothing they ever did was so over the top that I just rolled my eyes every time they came on the screen.

That, I'm afraid, is my issue with Smits and the Prado character.

It's just not believable to me.

Shopping for kill supplies at the sporting good store? Seriously?

I've never bought the let's - be - best - buds - routine from the beginning, and Prado has been played so overly eager (as again was the case last night) that I just can't believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore, or anything he does. And in this whole process, Dexter has been reduced to being so lame, deaf and dumb that I can't believe he could ever be brought to share his deepest secrets with a dude who could send him to the chair - no matter how pissed off he is at his father. Thank God for the Harry flashbacks. Did we forget what makes Dexter character so interesting? It isn't Mr. Mom, Mr. Country Club or Mr. Mini Me. If next week is any indication, we may finally get back to solo, sinister Dexter.

We've seen what happens on other shows when they move away from the essence of what made their central characters so compelling. Some can recover, others cannot. I actually do believe Dexter can recover, but I'm afraid the Dexter scribes have not done their best work this season. He's is just too far off in la-la land for me, and although I have no idea how it's going to end, a down and dirty face off with Miguel would do wonders for me.

Sooner rather than later.

But for all the failures with the actual Dexter character this season, Deb has rocked it. I could actually just watch all her scenes and be happy. Deb and the on-again, off-again conflict with Joey Quinn. One minute we don't like him, next minute we do. One minute, he's actually teaching Deb to be a better cop, the next he's seeming to one-up her. I really like this partnership, the conflict, the uncertainty. It's like what we used to have with Dexter. And through it all, I feel as if Deb has continued to mature this this season, particularly in her handling of CI Anton - both personally and professionally. And throwing in the Yuki Amato IA conundrum actually was a good twist.

I don't even have much to write about Rita because she's just home planning a wedding. Rita, Rita, wherefore art thou, Rita? She's kinda been reduced to a housewife in training. WTF? Remember when she and Dexter had to work on their relationship? Sort of that awkward beauty? Yes, he cheated on her with Lila. Yes, she's gotten past the Paul Plauge. Yes, they've changed. But, this "Hey, honey, I'm home" thing is a snore.

What isn't a snore is the fact CI Anton has been snatched by the Freebo killer wannabe - another reason I'm looking forward to next week's ep.

Perhaps a little too much.

New episodes of Dexter air Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime. Check out the official Dexter Web site for the inside scoop on the series.

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